Letter to the Editor, Worcester Telegram, July 23, 2023
"Stretch Code would save costs, energy
A recent article suggested that a proposal to adopt the new 'specialized stretch code,' an important tool in meeting the state’s decarbonization goals, was being delayed over developers’ concerns about costs.
We must put this issue in perspective. The state and city have made commitments to address our ever-worsening climate crisis. Building codes exist to ensure builders employ best practices. High-efficiency heat pumps are the lowest-emission choice for heat. Under the stretch code, builders utilizing combustion heating instead may face additional costs to offset emissions and ensure readiness for future electrification, but the code provides other pathways that reduce rather than raise costs.
Read the entire letter here.
"GOING FOR THE GREEN: Worcester’s effort to fight climate change needs buy-in from homeowners, businesses," Worcester Telegram, Nov. 18, 2021. Paul Paupinchalk of 350 CM on the Green Worcester Plan.
The Central Massachusetts regional chapter of the Green-Rainbow Party has chosen 350 Central Mass to be the 2021 recipient of the John Helfrick Memorial Award. 350 Central Mass is being honored for its efforts to educate the community on the climate emergency; organize legislative advocacy at federal, state, and local levels; and spearhead formation of the Worcester Climate Strike Coalition of 2019. Janet Cason, President of 350 Central Mass, accepted the Award on Oct. 11, 2021, from David Spanagel, Secretary of the Central Mass Green-Rainbow regional chapter.
“Our members thought so highly of 350 Central Mass as an organization that embodies the values of Ecological Wisdom, Personal and Global Responsibility, and Future Focus and Sustainability,” said Mr. Spanagel. “350 Central Mass joins a diverse and yet highly distinguished group of local organizations and individuals whose efforts in various areas have merited similar recognition.”
The biennial Helfrick Award was established more than 15 years ago as a way of recognizing individuals and organizations that are actively fulfilling the Ten Key Values of the Green Party in central Massachusetts communities, regardless of nominees’ own political affiliations. The Key Values are:
Social justice and equal opportunity
Feminism and gender equality
Respect for diversity
The receptions everywhere have been great! We advocate for America to build a 100% grid by 2035, electrify everything, and
promote environmental justice for all. Because the climate crisis
affects everyone, and we’re running out of time to save the planet.
On April 9 we rallied at #tdbank 295 Park Ave., Worcester, demanding
March 26 was an historic day for climate action in the Commonwealth:
Governor Baker signed the Roadmap Bill into statute!
This is the first piece of climate legislation passed in Massachusetts in over a decade. This bill creates the foundation for bold and robust statewide climate policy for years to come. This win would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of local activists like you.
Over the course of the 2019-2020 legislative session, advocates organized in communities across the Commonwealth to tell our decision-makers that we need bold, progressive, statewide action to effectively combat the climate crisis. 350 Central Mass was very active in this effort. Thank you for your efforts to get this bill over the finish line, and onto the Governor’s desk!
We are especially excited to share that the Roadmap Bill will:
Codify the definition of Environmental Justice, including the impacts of climate change in the bill's definition of "environmental burden.”
Strengthen Massachusetts’s emissions reductions targets to establish a 50% reduction by 2030 and a 75% emissions reduction goal by 2040. These targets hold the Commonwealth accountable to its residents for reducing emissions in our building and transportation sectors in years to come.
Direct the Department of Energy Resources to develop a Net Zero stretch code that cities and towns will have the option to adopt by 2022.
We know that our work is far from over. However, today we are better positioned than ever to keep mobilizing for stronger protections for Environmental Justice communities, a rapid transition off of polluting sources of energy, and an efficiency-based Net Zero building code that ALL communities adopt.
"It starts with us and it starts in Worcester"
Sunrise Movement Worcester, 350 Central Mass, and other climate-action
groups share seven demands for the city at climate rally.
Nicole Nelson, a member of Sunrise and 350CM, gave a heartfelt speech and poem
at the rally. Read her words here!
Members of 350 Central Mass and Sunrise Movement
Worcester held a standout outside the Worcester office
of Rep. James McGovern on Shrewsbury Street, on February 12. We
were responding to a call for action by the Build Back Fossil Free coalition
https://buildbackfossilfree.org/ and the Indigenous Environmental Network
recognizing the progress being made under President Biden and emphasizing
our requests for further action.
Less is More: Worcester's Robert Moylan Jr. Water Filtration
Plant Lauded for Low Electricity Use, Worcester T&G, Feb. 4, 2021
With commentary by Paul Popinchalk of 350 Central Mass
All winter we continued our standouts to urge the Commonwealth to boldly address the climate emergency. We have stood out at busy intersections in Worcester, Shrewsbury, and Holden, with more connunities to come. We urged Gov. Baker to sign landmark legislation (S.9) to strengthen the state's climate policies, which he finally did.
Mass. House of Representatives Bill H4440 was filed by Rep. Dylan Fernandes of Falmouth and Rep. Jay Livingstone of Boston and cosponsored by 70 House Representatives. S636 was filed by Senator Marc Pacheco of Taunton and cosponsored by 11 State Senators. The bill is strongly supported by MassDivest, a coalition of climate and labor organizations working to divest pension funds in Massachusetts from fossil fuels. 350 Central Mass strongly supports this initiative. View the video news release of Dec. 14 here.
"Paul Popinchalk, of 350 Central Mass, said, 'In general, I’m very impressed with the Green Worcester Plan. It’s doing all the right things, just not fast enough. Climate change is happening now, not in the future. We cannot wait until 2045, we need this tomorrow. City officials can’t do this themselves, they can only enable us. We the people need to own this and respond now.'”
August 13 -Climate activists protest outside TD Bank in Worcester